Wednesday, Jan. 31 | As Old As Dragons
Full Supermoon Lunar Eclipse in Leo
5:27am PST| 11 degrees
Welcome Eclipse Season, a two-week stretch of sped-up evolution. We can always expect things to move a bit like someone has their finger on the time-lapse dial during eclipses. Time feels a little less linear. We get the chance to watch ourselves in amplified slow motion detail before we speed up and blow through our baggage at a breakneck pace. There’s a weird sci-fi feeling that permeates the air: the feeling that the past isn’t dead yet, that the future was born long ago, and that we are here to heal trajectories set in motion by processes beyond our comprehension. Karma with origins as old as dragons shows itself (think Reptile Brain), and our work is to assess and respond.
Eclipse Season begins on January 31 with a Full Supermoon Total Eclipse in Leo. This is the third of what astronomers are calling the Supermoon Trilogy (a Supermoon is when a Full Moon coincides closely when the Moon is the closest to Earth in its orbit, giving us an up to 30% brighter and much bigger Moon in the sky).
So what is that about? A Big Moon means Big Emotions. Luna rules the personal emotional experience, so this is about your own emotions. With a Leo Eclipse, we are graced with an eye toward our more hyperbolic and attention-seeking inner dramas, so your personal shit is is extra visible at this time (to yourself and, it's safer to assume, to others as well).
Your best option, of course, is the path of least resistance: cultivate a relationship with the personal experience whether you like what you find there or not. Word to the wise: cultivating a relationship with your inner experience is never indulgence, it’s mandatory for your sanity. So face what comes up around this time. If you absolutely have to, play it out to some degree, just keep consequences in mind.
So as you work with these inner dramas, keep the ledger at hand and take notes for future navigation through your own waters. Ask the stories your emotions are trying to tell you and don’t skirt around what you hear. Play the neutral observer (Sun and South Node in Aquarius). Read and decode yourself, but remember that if your emotions don’t get heard and integrated, they will come back bigger and badder next time, Krampus style.
This Full Supermoon Eclipse in Leo also occurs the day before Imbolc, the cross quarter Pagan festival that since ancient times has been a day set aside to ritually purify the household, nurture the coming warmth, and light candles in honor of growing creative fires. So again, we get an amplification of Eclipse-style energy: purifying renewal, release, and propulsion forward.
Let’s keep in mind that the chart of this Full Moon has Venus conjunct the South Node in Aquarius, so if we’re going to get held up, it’s likely to be in vain attempts to remain aloof or to evade the grittier aspects of personal renewal and emotional integration. This is not easy work. The ego does not like to change shape. But the promise of this Leo Eclipse is that if we can humble ourselves and drop expectations about who we’re “supposed to be,” our souls will begin to shape our presence here with unprecedented levels of authenticity and truthfulness.
There is a Neptune quincunx to this Full Moon, which is again about emotional integration, but on a more colossal scale. This aspect can bring up pretty daunting psychological states like the existential loneliness that stretches all the way back to the pain of separation from our mothers at birth. Do your best not to numb yourself through hollow connections. Don’t feed things that don’t feed you. And remember that the kind of real connection that sincerely heals such existential Neptunian wounds requires the workout of going miles beyond the ego. Connection requires humility, so make sure you’re talking back to any dramatic Leonine thought patterns. Listen to the heart, not what the mind does to band-aid the heart.
Thursday, Feb. 1 | Imbolc
This is the festival of the pan-Celtic Goddess Brigid, a solar deity who represents the transition of the Goddess from Crone to Maiden. Imbolc is therefore, traditionally, a celebration of the quickening of the earth after winter’s sleep. The festival takes place during early winter lambing, when ewes are birthing and milking their first young. It’s a potent time to look within and discover what young and vulnerable parts of yourself need tending.
Imbolc centers around rituals of purification and initiation. It is traditionally a time to begin planning and setting in motion new ventures creative, spiritual, and worldly. The energy we cultivate here is “out with the old, in with the new,” and a common ritual for Imbolc is cleaning the home and then hanging a broom, or besom, above the entrance to the home to protect its purified condition.
Birch, which is associated with purification and protection, is often used to make the besoms, as well as the protective St. Brigid’s Cross traditionally made during Imbolc. As Maurice Bruce writes in “The Krampus from Styria,” The birch … may have a connection with the initiation rites of certain witch-covens; rites which entailed binding and scourging as a form of mock-death.” And indeed, Birch forests have since ancient times been associated with spirits of the dead and with the process of mourning.
Initiation is a tender process that requires awareness of what we have released, or are in the process of releasing. The bond between death and birth is unequivocal. So while we want to treat Imbolc as an occasion to open up to the warmth of new trajectories, we must develop an astute relationship with what is passing, and of the cold that remains around what is no longer living.
In keeping with the nuanced duality of this festival of purification and initiation, Brigid rules both fire and water. She rules Poetry and Bardic Lore, for she offers the gift of the creative “fire in the mind” to the poets. Yet she also rules water, Sacred Wells, and therefore the art of Augury as well. For this question of the watery source from the “Otherworld” is deeply linked with creativity. We must look beyond the immediately accessible dimensions of our existence in order to feed the creative fires that propel us forward.
So Brigid, also Goddess of Milk, reminds us that with all of the poise required to navigate the balanced tapestry of life and death, the key is the simple stuff of nurturance. This is a time to care for yourself, as both mother and father. Cultivate composure and purified structures for yourself while simultaneously tending the hearth fire for the vulnerable sides of yourself just beginning to emerge. As winter’s freeze melts away and the earth begins to warm enough for the first shoots of spring to appear, reflect on how your internal world mirrors this process, and remember that summer’s ease is some months out. Circumspect care is required here. Go attentively!
Clear a surface in your house for an altar (if you already have an altar, clear that space). Place a bowl on the altar and fill it with purified water to represent Brigid’s Sacred Wells. Secure a red or white candle, and place this on the altar as well to represent the Creative Fire that will help you to envision and propel yourself into the future. Take some time to write down what the Creative Fire feels like in your personal world, and how you would like to draw from the Sacred Well to purify yourself and deepen your creative process.
As mentioned above, it is also an ideal time to clean the home and hang a broom above the entrance for protection. If you don’t have a broom that feels suitable to hang above the door, then go outside and collect some twigs. Wrap some twine around the twigs so you have a small bundle that acts as your symbolic broom, and hang that above the door.
Most importantly, reflect on the intentions you have already set for this calendar year, and check in to see what kind of progress you have made with them. Do you need to revise your intentions? If so, this is the time. Rewrite your plans. Really strategize on how you can bring things into fruition. Because Imbolc syncs up with this Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Leo, listen to the actual state of your emotions as they are, and integrate that as you revise your intentions and your plans to manifest them. Don’t sell yourself short, but keep it real, pups.
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